South Tyrol 2012; Mountain-Biking the Dolomites & Italian Alps – Brixen & Plose Mountain: 2 of 4

Mar 14, 2013
by Lee Lau  
|| Bruneck & the Kronplatz || Brixen & Plose Mtn || Steinegg & the Rosengarten range || Latsch & Stelvio Pass ||


Our next stop was Brixen, 35km West of Bruneck.

We were fortunate to catch a ride to Brixen. Of course, you can also take the train and arrive in a bit less than one hour. The Sudtirol Mobil cards are prepaid stored value cards for public transit so it is entirely possible to travel with bikes conveniently and fast. Schedule and information can be determined at Sudtirol Mobile.

Travelling in SuedTirol is almost as easy as travelling in Switzerland with the exception that not all the busses have bike hangers in the back. In that event, you should load the bikes onto the bus's undercarriage storage compartments. As for the Suedtirol trains, there are some that are newer and some that are older. The newer trains are more bike-friendly in that they are wider and easier to load bikes. The older trains are also a bit noisy, so make sure to listen carefully for the announcements so you know when to stop, and if in doubt, ask the friendly conductors.

Brixen Plose - Sept 17, 2012 from Lee Lau on Vimeo.


We met Alexander Resch at Brixen who helped us settle in at the Hotel Golden Krone. Alex is an amazing host from a family of hoteliers. The family owns a beautiful hotel that is almost 400 years old in a town that is almost 1,000 years old. For us North Americans (where a 50 year building is "heritage") this is beyond mind blowing.

More on the Golden Krone and the fantastic town of Brixen later in the story. Suffice it to say that they enjoy the quality seal of approval that is the consistency of the Bikehotel Sudtirol programme. Food is fantastic, accommodations are luxurious and bikes/bikers are welcome with all needs attended.

After a hearty breakfast, Alex started us out by riding through Brixen's old town and across historic bridges older than when Chris Columbus had his first Carribean adventure. The ride then winds through Brixen's apple orchards and up through picturesque trails and rural roads ending 500m higher at the gondola base of Plose Mountain (Click link for the Hiking/Biking maps aka WanderKarte)

Our path Rad Weg through Brixen

The Goldene Krone Hotel is in the heart of Brixen's 1000 year old town. We rode through streets many times older than Canada to start the day. Just more awesome European culture

We then had a nice climb up to the Plose Gondola

We then had a nice climb up to the Plose Gondola

Once at the top of the Gondola what do you do Have Coffee

Once at the top of the Gondola, what do you do? Have Coffee!


Taking the Plose Gondola gives you a free 930m of elevation gain. Of course there is a sun drenched alpine restaurant deck where, like the tourists we are, coffee and cake await. We told Alex that we wanted views so he took us on a leg that traverses Plose Mountain from west-to-east and climbs gradually over 6 kms for 400m of gain over a variation of doubletrack and singletrack generally heading to the Putzjoch. This gives jaw dropping views of the western Dolomites to the south. A super fun descent from 2350m then dropped us back down to about 2000m where we had more authentic Suedtirol food at the Schatzerhutte and Alex tried to teach Lee more obscure Suedtiroldeutsch.

It's worth noting that if you prefer to try out more trails that feed back to the Plose gondola you can drop down earlier on this traverse. These trails are not strictly speaking downhill-bike necessary but more like all-mountain/enduro trails that are still rideable with medium travel bikes. By all accounts they are spectacularly fun. Unfortunately, due to only having one day in Brixen, we missed them -- next time!

More Dolomites views

More Dolomites views

Dolomites descents.

Dolomites descents

More Dolomites views

Classic singletrack winding through alpine meadows.

Lunch at the Schatzerhutte.

Schatzerhutte for lunch.

Lunch at the Schatzerhutte. With Kniakiachl Kaiserschmarm and Kasnocken

Lunch at the Schatzerhutte. With Kniakiachl, Kaiserschmarm, and Kasnocken.


After lunch we rode over to Val Di Funes. This gets you into pretty amazing scenery (the Odle/Geisler Dolomite massif with its white/pink stone in particular is outstanding). While this portion of the ride is scenic and historic the trails meander and it's a long way back to Brixen at the end of the day as you end up having to do a gradual traverse of about 7km with one particularly nice descent on forest trails, then ending with 12km on flat pathways along roads back to Brixen.

More Dolomites views

The final descent leg

Down up then down again and traverse back to Brixen via Val DiFunes

Down, up then down again and traverse back to Brixen via Val DiFunes


Hotel Goldene Krone

Staying at this place furthered our conviction that mountain-biking in Europe is best done through the "hub and spoke" method. Pick a central location and radiate out from it doing day trips. You could do much worse than stay in Brixen and at this wonderful hotel (oh how it was so hard to leave after only a couple of nights!).

It is certainly dumbfounding when you hear about people riding hut to hut or trying to pick a European mountain-biking trip to try to experience wilderness in some contrived made-for-tourism loops. Let's be clear about our opinions here. There is no "wilderness" in Europe; how can there be when there are people and huts all the way to the alpine? Any pretense otherwise is contrived and one should be honest about it. To be clear, this is very much a North American perspective and one from two rather experienced British Columbians who ride in plenty of wilderness in their home turf. In our opinion, European mountain biking should be embraced for its infrastructure (ie hotels, restaurants, road access, trains and buses everywhere). So find a nice hotel in an interesting town. Find nice singletrack. Enjoy the restaurants. Embrace the friendliness of the people. Soak up the inherent coolness of ancient towns where people live, work and play.

Speaking of nice hotels and interesting towns, this is why we were so excited about Brixen. Goldene Krone, is a four star Bike Hotel. Our half board dining option resulted in gastronomical stimulation of the highest order. Alex Resch was a great host and enthusiastic rider. You can check out some of the guided rides he offers his guests here and you would be well-advised to take advantage of them. Even a quick look shows at least 3 to 4 solid days of riding in the Brixen area alone.

Brixen itself is that magical size; neither too big nor too small but intensely interesting and with lots of culture. Dare I say that it had enough even for non-biking spouses to occupy themselves. First settled in 1901 it is the oldest town in Suedtirol and now numbers about 20,000 people. It has a huge old town (the hotel is right in it!!), innumerable churches, museums, galleries, fairs and even a Brixen Card tourist product that affords tourists deep discounts when spending time in town.

Ride all day then chill in Brixen in the late day/evening. That sounds to us like a magical time.

Goldene Krone View from our room and FOOD

Goldene Krone, View from our room and FOOD!

Food of Suedtirol

More food of the Goldene Krone


Brixen rides

For more pictures of the area see the entire photo album set here - includes photos of landmarks and notable features

(Click on the links to bring the maps up full-page. You can download GPS also if you want to replicate the loops)

Length: 48 km
Duration: 6 hours, 32 minutes, 46 seconds
Vertical up: 2031.2 m
Vertical down: 2024.5 m
Average Speed: 7.3 km/h

Sud Tirol - Brixen - Plose Mt


Our bonus Sud Tirol video - "Ride Your Dreams" filmed in Brixen on Plose trails starring Daniel Schaefer and Alex as the Bauer!

Ride fair. Ride your dreams! Südtirol. from Bikehotels Südtirol on Vimeo.


  • 4 0
 If anyone actually goes to the Plose and Bressanone/Brixen, the trails in the main ski area roughly under the gondola are way worth it. Technical, gnarly, fast, low traction.
While there's no one-day unlimited rides ticket available for the gondola, you can barter with the attendant to settle this. I got unlimited rides for the prices of three, for example. When you're finished for the day, a 1000-meter brakepad-burning downhill to the city below through vineyards, which is rowdier than the one taken in the article above, awaits. You'll have to brake hard for the old city square so as not to bump into the table you'll then sit at to order a nice chilled glass of white.
Thanks for the memories.
  • 1 0
 Heading there tomorrow Blay., will take your advice....Have been riding the Doli's all week, Selva Gardena, Sexton now to Brixen. Was in Finale Ligure the week before....bellisimo!!
  • 2 0
 Excellent! I had been making plans over the winter to visit the Dolomites this summer and then along comes this series from your holidays last year. The Hotels look fantastic but I will be driving down and camping, having stayed in Hotels the past 2 years in Whistler!
  • 1 0
 So, I'm an american dude, living now in the Brixen area for 4 years. All I can say is that where the trails lack modern, bike specific creativity, they make up for in longevity and an incredible history.... Think, maybe roman slaves or ancient shepards built the trail you are riding... and, for an ancient shepard, he built a pretty good bike trail, for having no idea that people would one day be coming from far and wide to shred the same place!! The food is real good (except for the restaurant at the top of the Plose Gondola), the endless trails and infrastructure are world class. I would highly recommend the combination to anyone who wants some serious flow with their cappuccino and doesn't need double overhead road gaps.... Hit me up if you need a local guide Wink
  • 1 0
 Hi Joey

Is there any way you could assit / advise (seeing that you are a local). How can I go about getting a late entry for "Maratona dles Dolomites - Enel June 30th 2013". Regards Brent
  • 1 0
 Further to previous message. I never knew this rrace existed. It was by chance that I was searching for a holiday destination in South Tyrol, Italy, that I cam across this. Entries are now closed! With local contacts, there is always a possibility to get a late entry or to buy over an entry from someone that cancels. Being from SA, I obviously do not have these connections. I dearly want to do this ride (138km). I there anyone out there that can point me in the right direction?
  • 2 1
 hehehe "oachkatzlschwoaf" that word is a classic in bavaria, too!

very good article!!! please bring us more of these, brixen is not too far away from where i live. might be worthy a trip! Smile
  • 2 0
 Also in this second article, it seems that you enjoy your riding, but you were well impressed from food :-)
Article well done, I'm waiting for the other 2
  • 1 0
 One simply can't visit this area without a major discussion of the food. Coming from whistler, I found the food and culture way more appealing that the riding ( which was decent). It's just that the food is so damn good!
  • 1 0
 soooo agree Matt. We're here right now, (again....for the 3rd time) and the food is such an interesting mix of German meets Italian and sure is a great reward after a long day's riding. Then there's the food of the Meditaranean while riding at Finale Ligure....bellisimo!
  • 3 0

Me: *Blank stare...
  • 3 1

"tail of a squirrel" Big Grin
  • 1 0
 I'm going to Bergamo outside of Milan in June. Could you tell me what's the closest best riding to Bergamo? I'm looking for tour guides for aggressive AM,FR,DH trails.
  • 1 0
 Hi, I am needing advice re a cycling event in this area.
Event:Maratona dles Dolomites - Enel June 30th 2013
  • 1 0
 That's some jaw dropping scenery :O
  • 1 0
 oh man... what a bike trip!!
  • 1 0
 Lee Lau. Again, thank you for uploading this.
  • 1 0
 only in my dream....for now.. thank you for the post!
  • 1 0
 Enjoying the series very much. Inspiring!
  • 1 0
  • 1 2
 Less talk about the Goldene Krone, more rock. This reads like something from the travel channel.
  • 1 1

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